The Pirates offense actually scored some runs on Saturday so we were thinking maybe once they got there bats going against Atlanta’s miserable pitching, they might be able to make it back-to-back wins against the Braves, especially with Kevin Correia on the mound to take on Tim Hudson, who was starting his first game of the year coming off of herniated disc surgery.
The Buccos scored three runs (hey, for them it’s impressive) and for once this year, if the pitching staff had thrown like it has all year, the Bucs probably could have won this one instead of losing 4-3. It wouldn’t have hurt though if the offense didn’t strand 10 runners either by going 1 for 13 with runners in scoring position.
It looked like the Buccos were going to abuse Hudson at first. They loaded the bases in the second inning and Jose Tabata scored Pedro Alvarez and Michael McKenry with a two-out single to right field, but those would be the only runs they Pirates scored until their final at bats.
The Braves answered by scoring one run in the third, one in the fourth and one in the fifth to go up 3-2 on Correia, who put together a decent effort but his worst start of the season. He lasted just 4 1/3 innings and threw 101 pitches. He only gave up four hits but he walked five.
Brad Lincoln relieved Correia in the fifth. Lincoln’s been solid as a reliever since he got called up when Jeff Karstens’ shoulder put him on the DL. But with the Buccos trailing by one in the seventh, Licoln gave up a Martin Prado bomb to dead center which ended up being the game winning run.
The Bucs tried to mount a comeback in the ninth but when you waste 10 baserunners, what do you expect to happen. Tabata hit a one-out double and then moved over to third when Andrew McCutchen grounded out in the next at bat. Then Tabata scored on a wild pitch to bring the Bucs within one before Jones struck out looking five pitches later. You go down looking with a full count and the game on the line? That’s the Buccos.
It was no real surprise though seeing how Jones went 1 for 5 on the day with a hat trick. However, Tabata ended up going 3 for 5 with a run scored and two RBIs and Pedro officially hit the Mendoza line by going 2 for 4 with his fourth two bagger.
This is pretty much what we can expect from the Bucs if the pitching isn’t throwing lights out. And it was pretty much impossible that the staff was going to keep pitching as well as they were. So is the bats don’t start doing something, things are going to get a lot worse.
The Pirates can tie the series at two if they can win tonight with James McDonald getting his first start since his near no-no but the Bucs are going to have to try and do something against Mike Minor, who has only given up four earned runs in his last three starts.